Relaymedia

Chinese House Church Leader's Son Brutally Beaten by Beijing Officials

( [email protected] ) Oct 26, 2008 10:03 AM EDT

In a report released by China Aid, a Texas-based house church watchdog, Chinese government officials “brutally attacked” the son of President of the Chinese House Church Alliance. The attack was unprovoked and without cause.

On Oct. 16, Pastor “Bike” Zhang Mingxuan, president of the 250,000-member Chinese House Church Alliance based in Beijing, was detained by state security officials in Kunming City, Yunnan province. Later that day, Zhang Jian, Bike’s oldest son, was severely beaten with an iron club while his mother watched when 15 Public Security Bureau (PSB) raided their home in Beijing. Zhang Jian’s younger brother was also beaten by PSB officials when he rushed to the aid of his injured brother. When their mother called the ambulance, the receptionist told her that she had been given orders by government officials not to dispatch any emergency personnel to the Zhang’s home.

After a prolonged period, a friend of the family was able to drive Zhang Jian to the hospital to receive treatment. He was so badly beaten that the doctors believe he may never regain sight in his right eye. Zhang Jian recently was told by government officials that despite his conditions, if he did not leave Beijing he would be arrested and detained for assaulting the officers who raided his home and beat him unconscious.

Furthermore, Zhang Jian was threatened to sign a mediation agreement with Beijing PSB or face imprisonment. He was initially offered settlements of medical reimbursements through PSB office, but Beijing officials have forced him to accept PSB office’s medical evaluation of his injuries rather than an assessment from an objective medical professional. For litigation procedures, China’s government only recognizes Police Medical reports. Under pressure of separation from his wife and one year old son if imprisoned, he signed the agreement that stipulated he had received only minor injuries despite hospital records indicating severe injuries, requiring complicated surgery.

Renowned Beijing Attorney, Li Heping, who was committed to accompany Zhang Jian to PSB office, was stopped at the gates of Chaoyang District PSB building by several PSB officials and prevented from entering the PSB office, reported China Aid.

According to Texas-based house church watchdog, China Aid Association, Bike Zhang contacted his oldest son via phone on Oct. 22 from an undisclosed location. He was restricted from disclosing his location, but is expecting to be transported to Nanyang City on Oct. 24. On Oct. 19, Bike’s wife and sister have also been placed under “soft detention” in a PSB operation Beijing hotel. The PSB had confiscated both women’s cell phone and do not allow for freedom of travel.

In response to this attack against Zhang’s family by Chinese government and hired thugs, churches and individuals in the United States sent letters to the Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C, expressing their deep concerns.

In one of the letters, two pastors, representing 1,500 believers in their congregation at Midcities Community Church, wrote, “We encourage the international community to continue to voice your concern on the increasing religious persecution in China and urge China to honor the spirit of rule of law and her international obligation to respect citizen’s freedom of worship.”

According to CAA, two U.S. congressmen, Frank R. Wolf (R-VA) and Christopher Smith (R-NJ), have co-written a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urging her to request the Chinese government to free Zhang immediately from his detention and to rectify the personal damages inflicted upon his family. They also call upon American government and Bush Administration to bring international attention to this situation by publically calling on the advocates for justice on behalf of Zhang Mingxuan and his family members.

Addressing the hypocritical stance of the Chinese government’s stance on international affairs, the congressmen wrote, “If the 2008 Beijing Olympics have taught us anything, it is that the Chinese will go to any length to secure their image as a peaceful and harmonious society when the world is watching,”

Lastly, they quoted influential British slave-trade abolitionist William Wilberforce, “Having heard all this you may choose to look the other way, but you can never again say that you did not know.”

To find out more information, please visit China Aid’s website: www.chinaaid.org.